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It’s Sunday, I’m back from vacation, and now the real fun starts. And by real fun, I mean Monday. (Cue rimshot! See, when rested I am just HILARIOUS.) Really, though, it was a great to have a week off to spend with the family just sitting by the pool (wrapped in a sweater, but still nice) and doing all kinds of what my husband referred to as “Griswold-esque” vacation activities. We did mini golf. We bowled. We went to the aquarium. These are all things I would not EVER have done at the beach pre-toddler, when my activities were limited to swimming, sleeping, and reading. But life changes, and sometimes, you get to bowl! Honestly, I was thrilled that I got BOTH a hole in one and a strike during this vacation. You can’t ask for more than that.

And now, it’s April. APRIL! Which means that everything is starting to kick into gear as far as the books go. First up: ALONG FOR THE RIDE comes out in paperback THIS Tuesday, April 5th. I, however, have a connection, so I got my copies early:

SO exciting. (Yes, I know it’s my ninth book being released in paperback, but this kind of thing still thrills me. I literally squealed when I saw the box waiting on my front porch. I am such a nerd. When the new book arrives, the whole NEIGHBORHOOD will hear me. But I think, by now, they are kind of used to it.)

I’m so excited that I have decided to do a giveaway of a few signed copies AND some of the super cool Colby Beach Bash T-shirts I had made up back in 2009 when the book was released. The front looks like this:

And this is the back:

When you wear it, you, too—like many of my friends, family, various people from Penguin and some booksellers—will look like you attended a completely fictional event in a made-up beach town. It’s a virtual keepsake!

Here’s how to enter: send an email to [email protected] Put ALONG FOR THE RIDE in the subject line, and your name, address and T-shirt size (S, M, L) in the body of the email. (The contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. We are slowly working towards global!) You will get an autoresponse, which will let you know your entry was received, and we’ll accept entries until 9AM EST on Tuesday, April 5th. We’ll pick seven random emails, declare them winners, and announce them on Wednesday. One entry per person, please. Then we’ll get your books and shirts out in the mail, which will make YOU happy, and clear some room in the garage from my sagging shelves of copies of my books, which will make my husband happy. (I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to my book stuff. Sad, but true. I cling! Trying to change, though.)

After Tuesday, and the contest, I’ll turn my attention to WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE’s release and my book tour. I am thinking of taking some yoga classes to prepare, doing some deep breathing, watching a lot of Bravo. You know, all those important things. I know things MAY get nutty and I will probably feel my stress level spike more than once (a day, or hour) but if and when that DOES happen, I’ll just think of that mini golf ball clunking right into the hole. Or my pink bowling ball whizzing right down the middle of the lane. Or, this, which I saw just as I was leaving this morning:

Ahhhh. That is just so nice.

Have a good evening, everyone!